Love others well, and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it. Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first. Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord. Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, and devote yourselves to prayer. Share what you have with the saints, so they lack nothing; take every opportunity to open your life and home to others.
If people mistreat or malign you, bless them. Always speak blessings, not curses. If some have cause to celebrate, join in the celebration. And if others are weeping, join in that as well. Work toward unity, and live in harmony with one another. Avoid thinking you are better than others or wiser than the rest; instead, embrace common people and ordinary tasks. Do not retaliate with evil, regardless of the evil brought against you. Try to do what is good and right and honorable as agreed upon by all people. If it is within your power, make peace with all people. Again, my loved ones, do not seek revenge; instead, allow God’s wrath to make sure justice is served. Turn it over to Him. For the Scriptures say, “Revenge is Mine. I will settle all scores.” But consider this bit of wisdom: “If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink; because if you treat him kindly, it will be like heaping hot coals on top of his head.” Never let evil get the best of you; instead, overpower evil with the good.
Psalm 119:33-40 (The Voice)
O Eternal One, show me how to live according to Your statutes,
and I will keep them always.
Grant me understanding so that I can keep Your law
and keep it wholeheartedly.
Guide me to walk in the way You commanded
because I take joy in it.
Turn my head and my heart to Your decrees
and not to sinful gain.
Keep my eyes from gazing upon worthless things,
and give me true life according to Your plans.
Verify Your word to Your servant,
which will lead me to worship You.
Take away the scorn that I dread
because Your actions are just and good.
Look and see—I long for Your guidance;
restore me in Your righteousness.